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Matthew 12:46-50

Redefined Relationships

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

What sort of interruptions does your service to God suffer? Perhaps you are a choir member who frequently has to miss rehearsals because... Or you might be a Sunday School teacher who is too busy to stop and pray daily for your students. Is there anything truly important enough for which we should stop the work of the kingdom?

Jesus was in a serious confrontation with the Pharisees at the house where He seemed to be headquartered. In the midst of an attempt to teach them that they could not live righteous lives by their own efforts, He was interrupted by a message from His family. For whatever reason, but probably because of the crowd, they were standing outside of the house waiting to speak to Him.

Undeterred from His work, He used the opportunity to finish His lesson on a positive note. "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" What a clever way to recapture the attention of the crowd! Was He disowning His family? Of course not. He was, however, about to redefine human relationships in a way that the people had never heard before.

Pointing to His disciples, He shouted, "Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."

There are several things that we should learn from this: 1) A familial relationship with God is possible for all persons, 2) As part of God's family, we gain new brothers and sisters, and the new family comes before flesh and blood 3) In the family of God, there is neither male nor female.

Jesus referred to God as His Father and to His disciples as His family members. That which made someone His brother or sister or mother was their obedience to the "will" of the Father. This does not mean simply obeying God's law, because it is His will that we do much more than that. It is God's will that we love Him with all of our hearts, minds and strength, that we trust Him with our lives, that we commit ourselves to His Son Jesus Christ, and that we live in a relationship with Him. The elements of each of these things cannot be spelled out in a written law. They are in the law of the Spirit. The people who do these things are Jesus' brothers and sisters and are members of the family of God.

The new family that we have in Christ comes before our flesh and blood relationships, because it is Jesus' will that we are one with one another and one with Him, who is one with the Father. This does not decrease the love that we are to have for our families, but properly places that love in second place among our priorities. Because doing the will of God must be a priority in our lives, the family of God, which consists of people doing His will, must also come first.

Notice that Jesus pointed to His male disciples and said, "Behold my mother and my brethren!" His mother was placed on an equal level with His disciples. There is no distinction in the kingdom of heaven. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Ga 3:26-28) Those, who have declared Christianity to be opposed to women's rights, should rethink their position.

Perhaps we all need to redefine our family relationships. Do you spend more time with God than with others? Do you speak critically of members of God's family, while defending an unbelieving, flesh and blood family member? Do you feel a special bond with God's family? What interruptions are coming between you and God's will for your life? Pray about these things.

Before The Throne:

Ask the Lord to help you set the right priorities for your life and relationships. Ask Him to help you improve your relationship with Him. Pray for the ability to truly love your fellow Christians as you would your own mother and siblings. Praise Him for bringing you into the family of God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.

For Further Study:

** yet. Mark 2:21; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:10, 19-21; * his. Matt 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; John 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19;

(v.48) ** Who is. Matt 10:37; Deut 33:9; Mark 3:32-33; Luke 2:49, 52; John 2:3-4; 2Cor 5:16;

(v.49) ** his disciples. Matt 28:7; Mark 3:34; John 17:8-9, 20; John 20:17-20;

(v.50) ** do. Matt 7:20-21; Matt 17:5; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21; Luke 11:27-28; John 6:29, 40; John 15:14; Acts 3:22-23; Acts 16:30-31; Acts 17:30; Acts 26:20; Gal 5:6; Gal 6:15; Col 3:11; Heb 5:9; Jas 1:21-22; 1Pet 4:2; 1John 2:17; 1John 3:23-24; Rev 22:14; ** the same. Matt 25:40, 45; Matt 28:10; Ps 22:22; John 20:17; Rom 8:29; Heb 2:11-17; ** and sister. Song 4:9-10, 12; Song 5:1-2; 1Cor 9:5; 2Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25-27; and mother. John 19:26-27; 1Tim 5:2;


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